Windows 10: White bar on upper corner (dual screen mode)

[German]In Windows 10 there seems to be a display issue in dual-screen mode, in both version 1803 and 1809. Users complain about a white or black bar at the top of the screen.


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The problem description

I came across this German Microsoft Answers forum post some time ago where a user describes the problem for Windows 10 version 1803 as follows.

I have the following phenomenon with 2 customers (both 2-screen operation):

On one (!) screen you can see a white bar at the upper edge, several centimeters high, running over the complete screen (with the 2nd customer partly also black).

The screenshot comes from a remote maintenance session, which means that I see it there too. It can even be seen in the small picture of the preview in the taskbar.

Bildschirm mit Balken
(Click to zoom)

Everything below [the white bar in the upper corner of the right screen] cannot be clicked either. If you drag a window over from the “normal” monitor, it looks quite normal. This only seems to affect windows that have been opened directly on this monitor. It also doesn’t always happen.

Could have been considered an isolated case where a graphics driver or misconfiguration caused the problem. But within this thread several users confirmed that report, all of them affected in dual monitor mode. The latest reports dates from March 2019 and refers to Windows 10 V1809. One affected person writes that the display error only occurs 1-2 times a day – then you could fix it by restarting.

I did some research on the web before I posted this blog post. This English-language MS Answers forum post from June 2018 describes a similar problem, but only with a screen. In this post and here a white line appears above apps. In this post someone blames the Electron framework. And here such a white bar for the Explorer is described. But I’m not sure if these are other scenarios.

Workarounds for the issue

Currently, two possible workarounds are described by the affected persons, with which the display error can be eliminated without a restart.


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  • Set the display of the screen briefly to 125% by zoom and then go back to 100%.
  • You can press the Windows+P key combination to switch off the second screen. After that you go back to dual-monitor mode.

I don’t know of any solution to this problem – updating the graphics driver didn’t help those affected. Any of you affected? And if so, is there a known solution?

Addendum: I’ve escalated this issue via the German Microsoft Answers forum to all Microsoft forum moderators, but no reaction or a fix.

Addendum 2: Two workarounds

German blog readers pointed out two workaround that seems to have helped in some cases.

  • Workaround 1: Check, if an updated graphics driver ist available and install it. After a restart, check, if the issue is gone.
  • Workaround 2: Check if the monitor frequency is set to 60 Hz, and if yes, change ist to 59 Hz. That helped in one case.

To those affected, the question of whether any of these two approaches have helped?


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23 Responses to Windows 10: White bar on upper corner (dual screen mode)

  1. Mike R says:

    I’ve found briefly inverting the screen via settings also fixes it. Temporarily at least.

  2. Jed B says:

    I have the same issue with several different computers of different manufactures.

    Have done windows updates, updated drivers and updated applications with no success.

    Many different temporary resolutions but no real fix.

    This was the first thread that I have found that accurately describes the issue.

    • guenni says:

      I’ve escalated the German MS answers thread twice to Microsoft – untill now no reaction.

  3. Matija says:

    Hi,

    In my firm we experience this problem for some time and I know it`s not 1809 version only problem. I tried with new VGA card, reinstalling windows, nothing helps for long.
    We are using Lenovo and HP PC.

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  5. edward says:

    does anybody have any update on this issue? i am expiriencing the same problem on 3 different computers, i would apriciate any kind of help, thanks.

    • guenni says:

      As far as I noticed, there is no fix from MS available. The cases in German MS Answers forum are still open – no resolution till yet (instead ‘switch to Linux duce’.

  6. Sergio says:

    Hi, we are having the same issue on lots of (newly build by us) computers… A fix would be great. We tried to upgrade to the latest intel VGA drivers, upgrade Windows to 1903, still the same problem. Computers are build by us: config: MSI B360 motherboard Intel Chipset, Dual Screen setup connected to onboard Intel VGA. Problem seems to be random… only common thing : dual screen…

  7. Ron Holtby says:

    We have the same issue and the problem is with Windows 10 Pro 1809 and I upgrade to 1903 but we still the same issue. I found that pressing F11 twice the white banner will disappear as well. The problem with our customer is on a HP

  8. AlexanderForbes says:

    we have this issue across different windows 10 builds.
    it seems to affect chrome and adobe mostly and only one on of the screens in a dual screen setup scenario.

    Updating the display drivers have worked for some but not for others (same spec , model computer) and seems to be affecting both laptop and desktop users.

    Please advise if there is a known fix for this.

  9. Andrii says:

    Is anybody found solution ?
    I have the same problem on several wokstations with two displays, which work throught RDP.

    • Martinvd says:

      Still no solution to be found on the internet. I have the same problem with customers working through RDP with two displays. Did you by chance already find a solution? I’ve tried changing some rdp settings and changing the Intel Graphics settings, but this didn’t work. 1 of our customers told me they managed to get this problem after working alot with checking PDF files in the Preview Pane in File Explorer. In our case the preview pane uses acrobat.

    • guenni says:

      Just an idea: Do you use Windows 10? If yes, try to use group policy settings to switch from wddm to xddm driver and test.

      See my blog post https://borncity.com/win/2019/08/28/windows-10-v1903-rdp-dwm-exe-causes-high-cpu-load-freezes-vms/

  10. TB says:

    Found this solution on reddit and it works for me:

    Right click desktop, go to Intel HD Graphics settings. Select Display and then choose the option Scale Full Screen. Make sure the option Override Application Settings has the checkbox marked.

    • guenni says:

      Thanks for the hint – I was just in front of another blog post – will include your advice.

  11. Arjuneyy says:

    I just encountered the same issue. The solution that works for me is:
    – Duplicating the display by using the “windows + p” command and select “Duplicate”.
    – Then toggling back to “Extend” using the “windows + p” command and select “Extend”.

  12. Matt says:

    so this is a problem with windows scaling. the monitor with white bar at top needs to have scaling changed. i have 1080p primary monitor and 4k secondary (with white bar and 150% scaling). to remove the bar i change scaling to 125% or 100% and white bar goes away. this isn’t an ideal fix as text becomes harder to read but for watching video through app/browser without that annoying bar is nice. i don’t think microsoft will have a permanent solution for this until next os release. they basically have told me directly this issue, along with hdr problems are very low priority. frustrating, but at least there is a workaround.

  13. Stefan says:

    In my case this keyboard shortcut worked to temporary get rid of the problem:
    ctrl-shift-win-B
    This clears the screen buffer. (Win10 1909)

  14. Camilo Virguez says:

    Great, It worked.. first time for me..

  15. Vira says:

    Thank you! It was very helpful for me :)

  16. Vaishak says:

    I too have faced this issue.
    I use the Ctrl-Shift-win-B option or just remove and re-insert the HDMI cable of the affected monitor as a temporary fix.
    I have come across this problem whenever I open a certain pdf file (mostly received from emails).
    Looks like an issue with Adobe. Need a permanent solution.

  17. MadManMarkAu says:

    Thanks to the advice in a Stack Overflow question, I’ve found that killing “dwm.exe” from Task Manager also temporarily solves the issue. The white bar goes away when Windows restarts that process. Investigating ownership of that window, it looks like it’s owned by explorer.exe. However, restarting explorer doesn’t solve the issue. It’s possibly some kind of orphaned window, like a leaked handle?

    • MadManMarkAu says:

      Disregard this. The white bar comes back as soon as I maximize the app again.

      It seems that, with Intel HD Graphics at least, setting the scaling mode to “Scale Full Screen” and checking the “Override Application Settings” box fixes the issue. These options can be found in the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel, in the Display section.

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